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25 Oct League of Women Voters of Arlington and American Association of University Women Arlington (VA) Branch hosted a County Board Candidate Forum. Joan Porte, LWV Arlington President, and Sara Anderson, Co-president of the AAUW Arlington, moderated the form and asked the candidates questions that had been written by members of the audience.

Over 70 people attended and asked candidates, Matthew D. deFerranti and incumbent John E. Vihstadt, questions on a wide variety of subjects including: election security in Arlington, reducing the office vacancy rate, the proposed school bond, ways to address climate change, the Long Bridge Aquatic Center, redevelopment of Upton Hill Park, affordable housing, transportation on Columbia Pike, attracting new large and small businesses, and school construction and operations. Girls from Girl Scout Troop 2853 at Key Elementary School presented the flag and led the audience in the pledge of allegiance.

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24 Oct Thomas Wolf from the Brennan Center for Justice provided insight into the need for independent commissions to redraw legislative district boundaries instead of politicians. With support from League members Ann Sharp and Jackie Rivas he presented the principals that are necessary to allow the commissions to work effectively.

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17 Oct LWV Arlington, LWV Fairfax Area, LWV Falls Church, and a dozen other civic organizations co-sponsored the District 8 Congressional Forum which provided an unparalleled opportunity to learn the candidates’ views first hand. The candidates Thomas Oh (R) and Don Beyer (D) (Incumbent) answered questions from the audience for over 90 minutes. They provided their views on a wide range of topics including health care,  election security, immigration, gun safety, the Equal Rights Amendment, taxes, deficit reduction, and campaign finance reform.

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The forum was marked by civility, incisive questions, and clear answers which were generally responsive to the questions. The candidates had different views on a number of issues but also found some common ground.

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The forum was moderated by Joan Porte, President, LWV Arlington, and Hayfield High School students Maggie Markon and Annaliese Gruber. The audience wrote out their questions on cards which the moderators used to quiry the candidates.

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24 Sept LWV Arlington kicked off its High School Registration Campaign. For students who don’t have their Social Security numbers, we provide them with the link to the state voter registration website so they can register when they find it. In addition, students sign “Pledge to vote/register” cards and we provide Vote411.org information where they can find candidate information. The spring registration campaign was so successful that we are finding fewer students to register and 17 year-olds are eagerly pledging to register and vote when they become eligible.

24 Sept LWV-ARL volunteers were joined by Inspire Virginia in registering voters at Wakefield High School. Bill Sands from the Arlington Registrar’s office aided in our efforts and provided information on the Constitutional Amendments. We also had help from Wakefield government teacher Patricia Hunt encouraged many of her students to stop by to register and marked the occasion by taking pictures of the new voters.

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25 Sept Students registered at W-L High School and over forty 17- year-olds signed ‘Pledge to Register’ cards. Inspire VA will follow up with them via email and/or text when they are eligible to vote.

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26 Sept the campaign continued at Yorktown High School where we registered new voters and more than 45 17-year-old students signed ‘Pledge to Register’ cards. Inspire Virginia will follow up when these students are eligible to vote.

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27 Sept volunteers carried the campaign to the H. B. Woodlawn Secondary Program.

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1 Oct the final campaign school visitation of the 2018 election registered students at Langston High School Continuation Program.


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10 Oct the chapter presented our first Civics Class for ASPAN clients. Pay-President Nancy Tate was joined by County Board Chair Katie Cristol and William Sands of the Office of Elections for the presentation.

9 Oct Beth Cogswell and Wren Gurney were invited to visit Girl Scout Troop 2853 at Escuela Key/Key School to present a program on winning the vote and the importance of voting. “Ms. Beth” walked the troop through a gallery of a history of the League and Women’s Suffrage. They reviewed a sample November 6 ballot, its candidates and bond issues, two of which, Parks and Recreation and Schools, were of interest to the troop.  One of the girls helped form the “Troop 2853 Bond Issue: How to spend our cookie money”. Finally the Girl Scouts realized the importance of “Every Vote Counts” as all but one of their ballots was cancelled due to failure to register or failure to vote. Susan B Anthony oversaw all the activities. 

7 October more than 35 members, friends, and Girl Scouts from Escuela Key’s Girl Scout Troop #2853 met at Uncle Julio’s to write GOTV [Get Out The Vote] postcards.

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6 Oct the chapter registered voters at the Columbia Pike Fall Festival. The volunteers included Theresa Thompson, Joan Porte, Leslie Kiefer, Marilyn Meyers, Mona Murphy, Juliet Hiznay, Anna Weber, and Marlene Nyman.

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5 Oct members Paula Orellana, Betty Cabrera, Sampriti Ganguli, and friends worked the registration and voter information table at the Latino Festival at Arlington Mill Community Center.

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5 Oct Arlington League President Joan Porte attended the LWV National Capital Area’s luncheon meeting where the new CEO of the League of Women Voters, Virginia Kase, addressed our local league leaders.

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2 Oct Arlington League Member, Lisa Koteen Gerchick addressed the attendees at the Election Security Committee’s Panel presentation, “Secure the Vote: Safeguarding Our Elections”. Lynn Garland, an unaffiliated authority on election security, co-executive editor of “Principles and Best Practices of Post-Election Audits”, moderated the panel. The speakers were: Jeremy Epstein, a cybersecurity researcher for over 30 years, now with the National Science Foundation; Liz Howard, Counsel for the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University, where she focuses on cybersecurity and elections; and Audrey Malagon, a Batten Associate Professor of Mathematics at Virginia Wesleyan University, who, as a member of the inaugural Verified Voting Audit Roadshow, has widely advocated risk-limiting audits.

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29 Sept, at the Ellen Coolidge Burke Branch Library, the AAUW of Alexandria and LWV of Arlington presented a debate that featured the 16 people [including five incumbents] running for nine School Board seats in the City of Alexandria. For the first time in three years Voters in the City of Alexandria will see School Board candidates on their ballots.

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27 Sept the Arlington League was invited to hold a Voter Information table at the Dar Al Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church.

27 Sept LWV Arlington and OneVirginia hosted a program on “Ending Partisan Gerrymandering in Virginia: What Has to be Done NOW!” Featured speakers were  Brian Cannon, executive Director of One Virginia 20201 and Suzanne Almeida, Redistricting and  Representative Counsel, Common Cause and former Executive Direct LWV, Pennsylvania.

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25 Sept, National Voter Registration Day, Kathy Ashenfelter and family attended “National Registration Day @ Nationals’ Stadium” cheering for the Nationals and celebrating voter registration and the women’s fight to gain the vote. The event was sponsored by LWVNCA [National Capital Area]… AND they witnessed Scherzer’s 300th strike out.

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25 Sept our chapter participated in a Sips and Civility gathering at Bangkok 54 where the program focused on the restoration of ex-felon rights in Virginia. Lashawnda Singleton, restoration of rights specialist in the Secretary of the Commonwealth office, and Elizabeth Valderama Jones, representing Offenders Aid and Restoration, lead the discussion.

 L-R: Carol Brooke, Lashawnda Singleton, Elizabeth Valderama Jones, and Joan Porte

L-R: Carol Brooke, Lashawnda Singleton, Elizabeth Valderama Jones, and Joan Porte

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22 Sept we registered voters at “Clarendon Day”.

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15 Sept our League presented a Forum: HOUSING SOLUTIONS FOR ARLINGTON'S "MISSING" MIDDLE CLASS at Marymount University’s Ballston Center. Presenting were: Daniel Murray (Deputy Chief, Arlington County Police Department), Delario Lindsey (Continuing Instructor for Marymount), Karen Serfis (Executive Director, AHOME, Inc.), Erik Gutshall (member, county board), Michelle Winters (Executive Director, Alliance for Housing Solutions), and Leslie Stockton (VP, Arlington Education Association). Speakers remarks confirmed the premise and exposed the problems the school system and public safety are having with retention, partly related to housing costs, and presented attractive alternatives for low density multi-family housing that would not clash with the ambiance of Arlington neighborhoods.

View our latest videos on “The Missing Middle” about housing in Arlington here

 Left to right: Murray, Lindsey, Serfis, Gutshall, Winters, and Stockton.

Left to right: Murray, Lindsey, Serfis, Gutshall, Winters, and Stockton.

13 Sept LWV Arlington partnered with the Arlington American Association of University Women to present a forum and debate by the candidates, Dr. Barbara Kanninen and Dr. Audrey Clement, for School Board. Attendees provided written questions which were answered by the candidates.

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8 Sept chapter president, Joan Porte, attended the LWV Virginia’s Fall Workshop. One of the topics covered was ‘Gerrymandering’.

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26 July LWVARL co-sponsored Voter Registration Training with VOICE (Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement). Garry Ellis, Virginia Voter Registration Coordinator, provided the training for about 200 volunteers. All who completed the voter registration training are certified to obtain voter registration forms from the state through June 30, 2019.

 

23 July the Housing Committee held its monthly meeting where it finalized its 15 September Forum: Housing Solutions for Arlington's "Missing" Middle Class. Mark your calendars and register here.

 Top: Carol Brooke, Chair, Paula Orellana, Barbi Broadus, Kathy Scruggs. Bottom: Jade Wright, Susan Sarcone, Marj Hobart. Photographer, Joan Porte .

Top: Carol Brooke, Chair, Paula Orellana, Barbi Broadus, Kathy Scruggs. Bottom: Jade Wright, Susan Sarcone, Marj Hobart. Photographer, Joan Porte .

12 July the Arlington League sponsored a presentation, "Redistrcting and the Future of  Popular Sovereignty". The featured speaker was Professor Michael Latner from the Union of Concerned Scientists. After his presentation Professor Latner lead a Q and A session. 303 people have already viewed the video at our Facebook site – and Falls Church and Fairfax shared the video with their people and it has been loaded on to several League VA Facebook feeds.

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10 July found Amy Hjerstedt (Falls Church), Don Gurney’s hat, Lisa Gerchick, Gayla Horn, Connie Potter, Ann Sharp, Laura Lawson, Joan Porte, Marlene Nyman, Jackie Rivas and Betty Cabrera at the Fair Redistricting Committee meeting.

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29 June - 1July the Arlington League was represented at the National Convention in Chicago by 3 of our officers who attended several sessions on pertinent issues focusing on the Convention theme: "Creating a More Perfect Democracy".

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26 June the Arlington League of Woman Voters, the UUCA and presented a Sips and Civility Program: Experiencing the Lives of DACA and Dreamer Kids of Arlington. Café Sazon provided refreshments. Three young immigrants spoke about how current immigration policy affected their lives, education and aspirations. Then immigration attorneys Robert Remes and David Rothwell from the Dream Project gave an update on legal barriers and increased threats Dreamers face in the current environment and what we can do to help them!

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17 June the LWV Arlington's Book Club had a lively discussion about the June title, “Miracle at Philadelphia,” with a special guest ... Their next meeting is July 15 and the featured title is “Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong” - by James W. Loewen.

16 June The LWVVA Council met in Richmond. Delegates from all 14 local Virginia Leagues met to approve to next year’s budget and to vote on substantial updates to the LWVVA issue positions on Behavioral Health and Education. An update on the progress in ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment  was presented and Dr. Rachel Bitcofer spoke on political behavior and recent elections. Attendees joined 'break-out sessions' such as "LWVUS Convention and proposed organizational transformation". LWV-Arlinngto sent two voting delegates and two observers. 

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6 June The Arlington League of Woman Voters along with the Arlington Gay & Lesbian Alliance and Equality UUCA sponsored a non-partisan forum on the legislative status of full LGBTQ equality in Virginia. A pot luck social preceded the speakers: State Senator Adam Ebbin, Delegate Patrick Hope, James Parrish, Executive Director and, Vee Lamneck, Deputy Director of Equality Virginia, who reviewed  the legislation introduced in the 2018 Virginia General Assembly and previewed the 2019 session.

2 June The voter registration campaign for the 6 November Elections and providing information on in-person early absentee voting commenced at the Leeway - Overlee  Community Day. The League is also collecting signatures on the Onevirginia2021 action forms supporting the creation of an independent redistricting commission to redraw the federal and state legislative districts in 2021.

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19 May we held our Annual Meeting where guest speaker, Commissioner Tom Hicks, Chairman of the federal Election Assistance Commission (EAC), described best practices in election security and administration, and the role of the EAC in assisting state and local election officials. Out-going President Kathy Matusiak recognized our partners from Inspire Virginia - Morgan O’Toole and Liz Twig - who were an essential part of our successful high school registration efforts. On behalf of the League, Secretary Seema Jain presented Kathy Matusiak with a token of our appreciation for all she had done the past 2 years as President. President Elect Joan Porte explained her vision on how the League can build aggressively build on this year’s achievements and expand into new member driven areas. Attendees contributed their ideas during the business meeting where official positions and by-laws were adopted.

2018-2019 Board

 L-R: Treas. Don Gurney, VicePres. Mary Voulgaris, *Mary Tate, Pres. Joan Porte, Past Pres. Kathy Matusiak, *Natalie Golldring, Secretary Seema Jain. [* Director]

L-R: Treas. Don Gurney, VicePres. Mary Voulgaris, *Mary Tate, Pres. Joan Porte, Past Pres. Kathy Matusiak, *Natalie Golldring, Secretary Seema Jain. [* Director]

May 3 at the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH) Capital Bike Share sign-up and 5 May at the Arlington Mill Farmers Market Grand Opening and 6 May at Vista at Courthouse, the league sponsored voter information and registration for the 12 June Primary.

28 April Arlington league sponsored an up-date on "GERRYMANDERING and the SUPREME COURT"  presented by Paul Smith, Esq.  The Redistricting committee did a super job organizing and running this program. Professor Smith has argued a long list of voting rights cases in the Supreme Court. Just this Term he argued Gill v. Whitford, the partisan gerrymandering challenge out of Wisconsin, and Husted v. APRI, a challenge to Ohio’s practice of purging registered voters for not voting. His expertise lead to a clear and compelling program followed by a robust Q and A session.

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25 April  LWV Arlington gathered at Osteria da Nino Cucina for "Sips and Civility - Let's Talk! --- Even About Touchy Issues" and practiced how to have a civil conversation about politically touchy issues ... how to discuss everything with everybody!

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*** SPRING 2018 HIGH SCHOOL REGISTRATION CAMPAIGN ***

*** SPRING 2018 HIGH SCHOOL REGISTRATION CAMPAIGN ***

9 March the School voter Registration Campaign finished after registering 5 students at the New Directions Program and at H-B Woodlawn  where we registered 49 students. During our class room visits we registered a huge total of 347 new voters.  This tops last year’s total of 288.

20 February the Arlington League kicked off its High School Registration Campaign at Wakefield High School. League volunteers were joined by Morgan O’Toole (Inspire Staff) and  Inspire VA students in classroom presentations and registering students eligible to vote in the 2018 elections. Over 290 students have been registered.

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The students participate in a voting exercise. All students in the class stand representing all eligible youth voters 18-29. 50% of students sit down. Seated students represent the percentage of eligible youth voters who did NOT register. Half of remaining students sit down. They represent the percentage of registered youth voters that did NOT vote. The 25% still standing are those who ACTUALLY VOTED in a presidential election. 3 out of 4 young people gave up their voice to others. The remaining standing [4] students represent the percentage of youth voters who DO VOTE in an off year election LIKE THE ONE THIS YEAR.

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62 students registered and LWV volunteers joined the Wakefield "Walk Out".

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League volunteers, Inspire staff, and Inspire students registered 59 students at Washington-Lee High School.

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172 students filed registration forms at Yorktown High School.

 


14 February our league trained volunteers to register Arlington high school students who will be old enough to vote by Nov 6, 2018. President Kathy Matusiak lead the presentation. Watch for these new volunteers at our APS High Schools between 20 February and 2 March as Arlington HS seniors register to use their votes to make their voices heard!

14 April the Arlington League hosted a Post 2018 Virginia General Assembly Roundtable where our representatives reported on the Assembly and the coming "Veto Session". State Senators Adam Ebbin, Barbara Favola, and Janet Howell, along with Delegates Patrick Hope, Mark Levine, and Alfonso Lopez shared insights and answered questions.

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6 March the Arlington League hosted an enthusiastic crowd at our first Sips and Civility – a Trivia Game on the VA General Assembly – at Bistro 360 in Arlington. Not only did guests tell us they learned a lot about their government, but they had a wonderful time meeting friends and neighbors! It was a fantastic night of fun, food, and even some learning!

20 February the Arlington League kicked off its High School Registration Campaign at Wakefield High School. League volunteers were joined by Morgan O’Toole (Inspire Staff) and  Inspire VA students in classroom presentations and registering students eligible to vote in the 2018 elections. Over 290 students have been registered.

4 March several LWV-Arlington members joined the "March Forth March Fourth" against Gerrymandering in Virginia. They car-pooled together to Richmond where they marched from the Hippodrome to a rally in the park next to the Capitol bell tower. On returning to the Hippodrome, they participated in training exercises; heard delegates from both parties discuss the importance of fair redistricting; and ended up with some humorous remarks by fake delegate, Gerry Mandering. In all about 300 people participated. 

11 February we enjoyed light food selections and drinks at Cassatt's with fellow and prospective League members and learned about all of the wonderful programs we are planning for this year and ... VOLUNTEER-ed!

10 February the Arlington League Redistricting Committee organized the "Opportunity to Work for Fair Redistricting in Virginia" event held at Arlington Mill Community Center featuring One Virginia 2021 Executive Director Brian Cannon. Arlington League Vice-President Joan Porte kicked off the event and facilitated the question and answer session. The League Redistricting Committee meets on a monthly basis to share information and coordinate strategy to increase awareness and support for fair redistricting.  New members are welcome to attend.   

 

6 February LWV-Arl participated in a panel discussion on Arlington County Civic Federation's Resolution: Redistricting. Members of the panel were: Don Gurney, LWV-Arl; Brian Cannon - OneVirginia2021; Juliet Hiznay ACCF Legislative Committee. Also in the picture is Duke Banks, ACCF President. The resolution passed. Read the resolution HERE.

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30 January members of the Arlington League attended the "State of the Resistance" presentation at Busboys and Poets. Read the report.

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21 January our league sponsored a discussion on The Electoral College in “Federalist Papers 10 and 68” presented by Dr. T. Lindsay Moore, Adjunct Professor. United States Military Academy (International Relations) Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University (National Security Studies) Adjunct Professor, National Defense Intelligence College (Law and Intelligence).

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